Business InsiderWhen you’re a small news team with a big workload, how do you keep social media updates flowing steadily around the clock?

For U.S. business and technology news website Business Insider, the answer was Buffer. Paul Szoldra was a fan of Buffer’s simple scheduling power even before he became Business Insider’s West Coast Editor.

“Basically, I pitched Buffer to everybody,” Szoldra says. “Once I started at BI and took over with the social media, I recognized that Buffer was going to make our lives ways easier.”

The Business Insider team particularly needed a way to schedule quickly and efficiently on Facebook. “There was no schedule—and that’s kind of weird for a news website,” says Szoldra. “We still did pretty well but we were missing out on some things.”

Now with Buffer in their corner, Business Insider has a consistent posting schedule, a stress-free workflow and a rapidly growing Facebook community.

“The workflow has been considerably better from the standpoint of always having content ready to go. Plus our engagement on Facebook has been way better, too, because now we’re posting way more,” Szoldra says.

Read on to hear more about Szoldra and Business Insider’s Buffer success story.

Q&A with Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra

image0041384898351
Name: Paul Szoldra

Company: Business Insider

Position: West Coast Editor

Challenge: Social media consistency

Favorite Buffer feature: “I must use the browser extension 30 times a day at least.”

Quick win: Grew Business Insider’s Facebook page to more than 1.2 million fans using Buffer.

Quick quote: “I’ve tried a ton of different tools, but Buffer is the best solution we’ve found.”

How much time does Buffer save you in a day?

At least a couple of hours a day. We used to share manually on Facebook, which is time consuming in itself—setting it up, getting the caption right, all the other stuff—and the scheduling was not that great. Now I can click a link and—using the Buffer browser extension—I hit one button, create a caption, maybe do a little tweaking. It takes all of 5 seconds. That is really, really helpful. I must use the browser extension 30 times a day at least. Plus I have all my other teammates adding content into the queue. When we get emails coming in saying, “Hey, can you post this on Facebook?” I know somebody is getting it and throwing it in Buffer. I don’t have to check.

What’s your general Buffer workflow?

I work in the afternoon on the west coast, and BI’s main office is in New York. By the time our other editor comes in around 4 a.m. in New York, I’ve already scheduled everything out for the morning so he doesn’t have to go crazy trying to find stuff—he can just get going writing stories.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 12.09.26 PM
The Buffer bookmarklet helps Business Insider queue posts quickly

Then we have another reporter who goes in and queues stuff into Buffer so that when I get on on the West coast I already have 5-7 stories ready to go, in addition to what I’m going to do throughout my shift. For the off hours from 1 a.m. until about 5 a.m., we have posts scheduled to go out automatically through Buffer.

How is Buffer helping you meet your goals?

I can tell you that our Facebook page has grown considerably, which is of course because of Buffer—because we’re posting so much more and on a schedule.

Before we started using Buffer we were at about 200,000 fans. Today we’re at 1.3 million—and growing. Our engagement used to be around 50,000 for Talking About This. Today we’re at 286,000. We’ve done way better. Getting the right content out and getting it out on a schedule has been huge.

Business Insider Facebook Page

How do you use Buffer’s analytics?

I’m a reporter/editor/social media guy, so I just need to know right away which post did the best. When I wake up in the morning, I set up all the stuff for overnight. Then I will go back and check on the previous posts and how they did—shares, comments and clicks are my main indicators. So I can check it out and say, “We need to post more like that,” or “We’ll never post that again.”

buffer analytics

What other tools do you use?

We have Google Analytics; we use Chartbeat for views on the site. But for social stuff we’re pretty much sticking with Buffer. I’ve used SproutSocial, I’ve used Hootsuite. Then I found you guys and it was like: Well, this is a hell of a lot easier. I’ve tried a ton of different tools, but Buffer is the best solution we’ve found so far. I’ve told a lot of people about Buffer. Anywhere I show up I’m like, ‘Are you guys using Buffer? Why not?’ You’ve got an evangelist over here.

Can Buffer help your team or individual social media strategy, too? We’d love to help you find out. Why not give Buffer a try?

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Written by Courtney Seiter

Courtney writes about social media, diversity and workplace culture at Buffer. She runs Girls to the Moon on the side and pets every dog she sees.

  • The biggest reason I don’t use Buffer or any other scheduler to post to Facebook Business Pages is because tagging isn’t currently allowed through their API. I travel and speak a bit on Social Media, including teaching on how to connect with audiences on Facebook and what I’ve learned is that I can grow the organic reach by not only sharing and creating great content but also by tagging other relevant larger audiences when available. Like when sharing an article from USA Today or Inc. Magazine about a specific brand or newsworthy event. (Free tip btw) 🙂

    • Hi Josh! That’s an amazing tip on how to boost Facebook sharing! Thanks for passing that one along! I’d love to pass along your feedback to the product team here and put this one on our to-do list once the API opens up. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and perspective. It’s super helpful!

      • Hey Kevan – it looks like they did update the API and it slipped under most people’s radar. Literally the next article I read after this one ended up mentioning this, and that only one company has utilized it so far! Being number 2 would be awesome for Buffer – especially since at that price point, the tools seems more for big businesses. http://marketingland.com/facebook-3-98025

        • Oh, awesome stuff Brittany! Thanks so much for pointing us in the right direction. I’ll pass this along to our product team!

    • Vivek

      Absolutely, agree with Josh. Great tip!

    • A sound tip, until Facebook doesn’t let you tag the person or page that you’re wanting. I can’t seem to tag any of our local businesses when promoting the weekly market as part of a shop local campaign. 🙁

      • I’ve found that editing a posted update lets you tag pages that you couldn’t before. How strange. Not very good for scheduling.

      • Kyle, I totally get that. Tagging can get tricky when the mass isn’t quite educated on how their page should be setup ie business page, community group, personal page etc. But keep in mind, when attempting to tag from a business page, you can only tag other business pages in the copy of the post itself. People and/or personal pages can only be tagged on personal pages and in the comments of business pages and community based groups cannot be tagged at all, as far as I know. Hope that helps!

  • Great post/interview! I was always curious about whether you had any case studies for Buffer. I have a client who is an avid Hootsuite user and I’m hoping to gently lead him towards making the switch. 🙂

  • There is a very big oversight here, though… That oversight is because Business Insider has started posting all manner of useless ‘filler’ posts, many of which have little or nothing to do with business and either the people managing the comments are oblivious and unaware of the resulting responses…or they just don’t care. The replies indicating readers’ displeasure with the inane posts are completely being overlooked by those in charge at BI and this is not going to benefit them in the long run. Either they are going to lose an intelligent fan base, trading it for mindless drones or they are going to watch their readership numbers plummet.

    Personally, I don’t consider this to be a measure of success…

    • Hi D.M.! Thanks for adding these thoughts to the conversation. This does seem like a very valuable part to consider; I appreciate your bringing it up!

      Cheers,
      Kevan

  • Agree, Buffer is a great one of a kind service. I have been using them to schedule post but more importantly post to multiple social network accounts at once for about a year or more now and love them! Worth a paid subscription for sure

  • Vaishnavi

    Facebook can be integrated to Tweeter and Google Plus and by synchronization option we can do post updates,schedule the posts simultaneously in both tweeter,Google Plus from Facebook that to free of cost.
    I wanted to know
    1 how Buffer Stands different from Facebook as Facebook can be now used as API to post simultaneously in twitter and google Plus.
    2 Benefits of Buffer other than scheduling,posting.
    3 How it will helps to increase the sales,Branding et